Monday, 15 December 2008

LG causes a stir with the first LTE handset modem chip

LG recently announced that it has independently developed the first handset (user equipment) modem chip based on 3GPP Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology standards. The modem chip can theoretically support wireless download speeds of 100Mbps (megabits per second) and upload speeds of 50Mbps. This represents a significant step toward creating a market-ready 4G phone.

LG demonstrated the chip at its Mobile Communication Technology Research Lab in Anyang, Korea, achieving wireless download speeds of 60 Mbps and upload speeds of 20 Mbps. The fastest phones currently on the market use HSDPA technology and download at a maximum speed of 7.6 Mbps.

For the past three years, LG have been pursuing 3GPP LTE standardization, working to develop and test commercially viable LTE technology with approximately 250 of R&D staffs. The result is a 13 by 13 mm modem chip, perfectly sized for the next generation of slim-yet-powerful handsets. For its demonstration today, LG used a test terminal running Windows Mobile to play back high quality, on-demand video. In addition to this handset modem, LG is also developing the first preliminary LTE-based data card, which can replace the wireless cards currently used in computers.

“Now that LG has developed and tested the first 4G handset modem, a commercially viable LTE handset is on the horizon,” said Dr. Woo Hyun Paik, CTO of LG Electronics. “This latest breakthrough gives us a strong technology advantage that we will use to bolster our industry leadership.”

Dr. Paik added, "Our successful development of this LTE handset modem signals the start of the 4G mobile communications market. LG will continue to advance this technology and develop further technologies to maintain global leadership.”

Mobile phone carriers have now built LTE test networks and are currently working on early stage handsets. The first LTE mobile phones will likely reach the market in 2010.

If you remember, LG was one of the partners with T-Mobile and Nortel when they tested LTE some months back.

Anyway, LG also caused a stir with this announcement because it boasted of having 300 patents related to the technology.

The report, in Korea Times, caused ripples of nervousness because LG is not a participant in the patent pool that several large vendors formed last spring for LTE. The aim of this group is to create a cross-licensing framework, and sign up sufficient numbers of IPR holders, that it will achieve “fair and non-discriminatory pricing” amounting to a single digit percentage of the cost of a handset, and single digit dollars for a laptop, for all associated intellectual property, commented Arstechnica.

Patent pools are gaining in popularity as new standards emerge with ever larger numbers of patents involved, but with rising pressures to be cost effective. The WiMAX community created the Open Patent Alliance earlier this year, and this week, the IEEE standards body struck a two-year deal with Via Licensing, one of the most prominent patent pool administrators. This agreement will create one or more patent pools for key IEEE communications standards, including Wi-Fi. The standards group believes this will help drive its specifications into the market more quickly because vendors will have greater confidence that IPR licensing will be fair and patents declared upfront before standards find their way into commercial products.

There were some interesting discussions on IPR framework in the LTE World Summit that i will hopefully blog soon about.

via: LTE Watch

1 comment:

Jason Johnson said...

I look forward to hearing what you learn about IPR at the LTE World Summit.